Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Perched kestrel (Betty)

Back in January of this year i was doing a work experience placement at Lakeside country park in Eastleigh. While there, among other things i observed a resident female kestrel, i nicknamed Betty. In this photograph she is sat on the roof of the tool shed watching the undergrowth for small mammals, waiting for her chance to pounce.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Hidden Pheasant

I am lucky to be doing a course that allows me to get out and about and see things i wouldn't see sat in a classroom. When doing a woodland plant survey my class stumbled across this pheasant hiding right next to a foot path. It was less than 6ft away, laying perfectly still, making us wonder for a moment if it was actually alive or not. After taking this photo we left it alone, returned soon after and it had gone on its way. Thinking back, i am amazed that it took so long for us to see something so close to us.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Emerald Ash Borer

As if Ash die back (Chalara Fraxinea) wasn't already a worrying enough threat to Britain's Ash (Fraxinus Excelsior) trees, there is now possibly another. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This little creature feeds on the layers of ash. And according to this link, is estimated it can travel up to 24 miles in its lifetime and can lay around 200 eggs in its lifetime.

In its native land (Asia) the ash there are a slightly different species and so have co-evolved and strong enough resistance to it. However our European ash does not have that resistance. America already has this pest and it is estimated to have cost america around 10 billion dollars already. Now it has been discovered as close as Moscow. This article has more detail.


Badger cull in Gloucestershire for 8 more weeks.

Everyone has their own opinions on the badger cull. Good or bad, it usually depends on your background, most ecologists want to stop the cull, most farmers who keep livestock want to have as bigger cull possible. Personally i think that a cull is needed, but it has not been researched enough and there are better and more humane ways of carrying it out. But i am no expert. Whatever your opinion, Natural England have just announced an "extension to the badger control licence" in Gloucestershire http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2013/231013.aspx#.Umf0IhTvSkA.facebook
(The lovely Badger photograph is by Marc Steichen -a runner up in the wildlife photograph of the year competition-)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Pigeon/rock dove hybrid.

Over the weekend i took a trip to London with my girlfriend to see Passenger live. We also got to stay with my dad and his girlfriend as well as see some of the sights of London. These pigeon/rock-dove hybrids ( no really, they aren't pigeons :) ) were everywhere, and very tame. This gave me a few good opportunities to photograph birds in a way that is usually very difficult.
Hopefully, i think, this photo shows that if something is common it doesn't have to be boring, it is sometimes worth a look :).

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Maybe one day :(

After the wildlife photograph of the year results were announced a couple of days ago i have been reading the details on my favorite photography. I was very pleased to realise that Pål Hermansen, the person who took that photo, had used the same brand as mine :) (cannon).

However after some internet browsing i soon realised that that sort of camera was way out of reach for me :/. I currently use a EOS 1100D. Pål Hermansen however was using a EOS 5D mark 3. This is almost £2,700 more than mine.

Although there is a silver lining, looking into cannons range a bit more i realised i may be able to afford, in the not to distant future, a more advanced camera for around £500 :). Maybe one day.

Its worth checking out the wildlife photographs of the year, some excelent shots, well done to all involved :).
Wildlife photograph of the year

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sepia Red Stag

Another one of my favorite photographs from my trip to Richmond park. One i am very chuffed with :).

Majestic Red Stag

Had a lovely trip to Richmond park today with my college to get first hand views of red and fallow deer. This was to help us better understand our deer unit of the course and also to give us a change from the classroom which was very much appreciated. I had a awesome time wandering around Richmond park seeing a lot of things for the first time, including this red deer stag.
One of the bigger more mature stags in the park, he had finished his rut for the year and was resting and taking it easy after what i can only assume was a job well done.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Holiday Turnstone

This year my family and I went on holiday to Devon (Appledoor) and rented a beautiful cottage right on the coast, overlooking Appledoor bay. When we all went walking the dog the tide had just started to go out and the waders had started moving in, I managed to catch a glimpse of a bird. I spent about 20 minutes slowly following it until I was able to get a decent enough photo, with an end result I am pretty happy with :).

Friday, 11 October 2013

Common buzzard

The common buzzard is one of my favorite British animals. However attempts to get a photograph have been victim to sods law on numerous occasions. Every time i seemed to get an opportunity to photograph one it turned out as a silhouette or blurry. I know this photo isn't perfect but to me it is evidence that i am making progress. I achieved this with a iso of 1600 and a high shutter speed on a fairly overcast day. Hopefully i will get a more satisfying photo of the magnificent common buzzard sooner rather than later.

Friday, 4 October 2013

I am not too good with my butterflies, but i am fairly certain this is a swallow tail. Feel free to correct me. I took this when out visiting family in spain. They are very lucky to live in a relatively remote area which is full of fascinating wildlife. Hopefully i will be out there again soon, photographing the various lizards and birds of prey that i rarely see more than a glimpse of :).

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

4-spotted orb weaver

Took a trip with my diploma class today to a piece of un-managed land on the border between Eastliegh and Southampton. Our aim was to conduct a phase 1 habitat survey to determine if there was anywhere on the site worth further investigation. In doing this we discovered all kinds of arachnid and insect :). Special thanks to Matt Saunders aka Sparrow.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Spot the snake revealed

The spot the snake reveal, as promised. Well done to anybody that found it!!!!